I've been getting back into vintage movie stills and other photos lately which timed out well with an acquisition of a few hundred photos from the Gene Andrewski Collection. Included amongst those were the six Norma Shearer images shown on this page which, while all picturing Shearer in the 1930's (except that one up above looks to be a shot from the 1920's, no?) and being printed on a double weight heavy photo stock, are more than likely later printings.
I say this on a hunch because of some imperfections in the images themselves as well as the brightness of the white paper on back. They just sort of feel newer. Still, judging by the source I'd imagine that they're older reprints probably 40-plus years old; three of them even have Andrewski's stamp on the reverse proving their provenance.
Really these are an example of why I like to play it safe and stick to press photos with date stamps and/or press tags more definitely dating them. Anyway, since I pride myself on being as honest as my ignorance allows I've mentioned my reservations about the age of these in my auction listings.
These six different vintage Norma Shearer photos are at auction on eBay this week, hopefully priced to sell to the right fan.
While looking for the best possible wording for my suspicions of these Shearer photos I stumbled upon a pretty incredible free online resource for the vintage photo collector.
Check out art historian and forensic scientist David Cycleback's site and visit the top link to see his complete guide to Judging the Authenticity of Photographs. The guide is also presented as a Continuing Education Course with test questions at the end in an illustrated 210 page pdf file found here. It's really one of the bulkiest pieces of useful information that I've encountered anywhere online!
If you like your resources in book form you can also order a print edition of Judging the Authenticity of Photographs from Amazon.com.